Christmas Parade: What you need to know

This Saturday marks Richmond’s 28th Christmas Parade. Where are the best places to watch the parade? What can we expect out of the weather Don’t worry. We have all the answers and everything that you need to know for Saturday’s big Christmas spectacle.

Last year’s Christmas Parade was a huge hit among the Richmond faithful. High school marching bands, floats galore, and even people dressed up as Star Wars characters took to Broad Street. But surely you recall, the most famous reindeer-related event of all from last year:

THE MASSACRE OF RUDOLPH. That thing made national news.

This year’s parade is going to build upon last year’s success, and hopefully avoid impaling any animal shaped balloons. With financial backing from the folks at Dominion, the parade could easily top last year’s in both fun and attendance (we could see over 100,000 people). To keep you in the loop we have everything you need to know to make the most of Saturday’s parade.

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Wait…when is it? Where? What is happening?

The parade will take place on Saturday, December 3, 2011, from 10:00am until noon. The parade will depart from the Science Museum on W. Broad Street and continue east to 7th Street. Here’s a map of the parade route (PDF). And if you’re curious as to the parade’s line-up, you can check that out here.

Todd “Parney” Parnell of the Flying Squirrels is this year’s Grand Marshall. And if I were a betting man, WHICH I MAY BE, I’d count on an appearance from Nutzy.

Am I going to freeze to death?

Doesn’t look that way! Here’s a quick forecast from the man himself, Weather Dan:

A strong area of high pressure is going to keep skies clear and temperatures near the average for this time of year. Plan on a chilly start, with temperatures near 30 at 7am, warming quickly to 50 degrees by noon. Make sure to layer up and stay warm!

What roads are closed?

  • Eastbound Broad Street will be closed from Strawberry Street to Davis from 6am to 2pm.
  • Westbound Broad Street will be closed from 7th to Davis from 9am to 2pm.
  • Leigh will be closed from Boulevard, to Hermitage except by permit only

Where do I park?

There is no designated parking for the parade, but you are free to park on any side street along the parade route or in the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control lot next to the Science Museum. The parade officials ask that you please do not park in the other lots at the Science Museum or the Children’s Museum unless you plan on paying them a visit.

Where should I watch the parade?

The parade folks say the best viewing spots are available in front of the DMV or near the former Sixth Street Marketplace. However, there will be tons of people with folding chairs hanging out in the middle of Broad Street throughout the parade route–feel free to join them!

What should we do after?

You and your pals are likely to be a bit chilly once the parade wraps up, so we suggest heading out to get some warm food in your bellies. Here are just a few ideas…

The Fan

  • Bellytimber Tavern (1501 W. Main Street)
  • City Diner (2237 W. Broad Street)
  • City Dogs (1309 W. Main Street)
  • Garnett’s (2001 W. Park Avenue)
  • Joe’s Inn (205 N. Shields Avenue)
  • Kuba Kuba (1601 Park Avenue)
  • Sidewalk Cafe (2101 W. Main Street)
  • Strawberry Street Cafe (421 N. Strawberry Street)
  • Three Monkeys (2525 W. Main Street)


  • Arcadia (1700 E. Main Street)
  • Capital Ale House (621 E. Main Street)
  • LuLu’s (21 N. 17th Street)
  • Perly’s (111 E. Grace Street)
  • Tobacco Company (1201 E. Cary Street)
  • Urban Farmhouse (1217 E. Cary Street)


  • Bin 22 @ Betsy’s (3200 W. Cary Street)
  • Can Can (3120 W. Cary Street)
  • Galaxy Diner (3109 W. Cary Street)
  • Mary Angela’s (3345 W. Cary Street)
  • Mezzanine (3433 W. Cary Street)
  • New York Deli (2920 W. Cary Street)
  • Weezie’s Kitchen (3123 W. Cary Street)
  • Water Grill (3411 W. Cary Street)

Near West End

  • Stella’s (1012 Lafayette Street)
  • The Blue Goat (5710 Grove Avenue)

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